Orchid

Orchid

by Shao Rong
     
 
Hailing from Shanghai, the young Shao Rong is considered a top virtuoso of the pipa,a four-stringed Chinese lute. Rong is in demand as both a soloist and a member of the unique Li-Hua Ensemble, and it's easy to hear why. In her hands, the pipa's strings can ring like a banjo or cast off flurries of tremolos played with

Overview

Hailing from Shanghai, the young Shao Rong is considered a top virtuoso of the pipa,a four-stringed Chinese lute. Rong is in demand as both a soloist and a member of the unique Li-Hua Ensemble, and it's easy to hear why. In her hands, the pipa's strings can ring like a banjo or cast off flurries of tremolos played with all five fingers. The music is written entirely by producer Seiichi Kyoda, combining such modern Western instruments as the piano, bass, guitar, and drums with traditional Asian instruments such as the bowed erhu, the zither-like guzheng, and the shakuhachi and dizi flutes. The pieces seem to fall into two categories: the softly melodic and the more rhythmic. Highlights include the impressionistic "Wild Rose" and the sentimental "True Love," with its tender piano setting a solid melodic base for the ensemble of Asian instruments. Jia Peng Fang's performance on the erhu adds a profound lyricism, while Wang Ming Jun's dizi makes the melodies soar like birds on the wing. Shao's playing is miraculous throughout, spinning off notes with the speed of a hummingbird's wings yet radiating a sense of shimmering stillness.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Shao Rong's pipa, a Chinese lute, sounds like a cross between a banjo and a mandolin, with the plucked resonance of the former and the ringing, multiple-string tremolo sound of the latter. Though the musician is classically trained, Orchid is an album of original compositions written and arranged by Seiichi Kyoda, who combines traditional Chinese and Japanese instruments with Western ones in a distinctly Western musical sensibility. This pleasant music will sound only slightly exotic to American listeners, and that's all to the good, since without the unusual sounds of the traditional instruments, it would be fairly bland. Shao Rong, meanwhile, sounds more like a featured player on an ensemble effort than the real star of the show.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/23/2001
Label:
Pacific Moon [alleg]
UPC:
0678477002225
catalogNumber:
22

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